The Los Angeles-Orange County market may have to wait years before the NFL agrees to let teams relocate to the area, according to a report in The Orange County Register.
The report cites former NFL and pro sports executives and consultants involved in previous NFL team relocations and stadium projects. They said the process could still take a while, regardless of whether the Los Angeles City Council approves the Anschutz Entertainment Group's plans for a $1.5 billion downtown stadium, which was expected Friday.
AEG and city officials say they are closer to bringing an NFL team to the area than at any point since losing the Rams and Raiders in 1995, but league officials have major concerns about both AEG's Farmers Field project and plans for an $800 million privately funded stadium in the City of Industry, the executives and consultants told the paper through interviews this week.
"The NFL is not going to allow this to be done unless and until they're absolutely convinced it's going to be successful," Marc Ganis, president of the Chicago-based SportsCorp Ltd., and a consultant on the Raiders' move to Oakland from Los Angeles, told the paper.
Teams can apply for relocation on Jan. 1, 2013, and a move could be approved by the NFL at its March league meeting. But the executives and consultants told the paper said that the NFL likely wouldn't be ready until 2014 or even 2015 to allow a team to relocate to Southern California.